Are 'Jacks-of-All-Trades' Overconfident?
Darmstadt University of Technology; Goethe University Frankfurt
Goethe University Frankfurt
Goethe University Frankfurt Faculty of Economics and Business Administration
October 13, 2011
In this paper we analyze the relationship between Jacks-of-all-trades (JAT) and their cognitive and non-cognitive skills using a sample of entrepreneurs. Extending Lazear's work, we develop a complementary measure for broad skills. By comparing both measures, we find two distinct types of entrepreneurs: The first is overconfident and has experience of many prior roles. The second type is more realistic and is endowed with many different skills. With regard to personality traits, conscientiousness is positively correlated with both types. For openness we find a positive and for agreeableness a negative relation, but only for the second type. The two types also differ in terms of locus of control: while the first type exhibits a strong external locus of control the second type is characterized by an internal locus of control.
Keywords: Jacks-of-all-trades, overconfidence, entrepreneurship, cognitive ability, personality traits, big five, locus of control
JEL Classification: D03, L26, J24working papers series
Date posted: November 21, 2011
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